As I am sitting down to write what God has laid on my heart, I am overwhelmed. I am flooded with mixed emotions and so many thoughts. I hear the lies that Satan keeps whispering in my ear but I know the truths that Scripture says about me. Lately, it seems like there is a constant fight in my mind. It's not pretty.
Have you ever been through a time in your life when you looked back on your life and wondered how in the world you got there?
Well, I definitely have. These moments have been coming frequently this week. Just on Wednesday I found myself sitting on the front row at church during the service thinking, "What happened?" I found myself trying to figure out what happened to the confident girl from last year that was determined to be her own person, do her own thing, and live her life to please God. It's not that she is gone completely... I guess she's just been on a hiatus. Looking back on the past few months, I realized that I haven't exactly been my own person and doing my own thing. I have been doing my own thing but doing it apologetically. As if my service to the Lord and His call on my life is something that I needed to apologize for.
The last few months, my apologetic living has turned into a whole new monster. My insecurity monster was/is back and raging. Right now, I find myself having to fight harder than ever to keep the words of Jesus not just in my heart but also in the forefront of my mind. In the quiet, the insecurity monster is louder than ever. "You're over-reacting." "What is wrong with you?" "No one will ever love you." "No one will ever accept you." "Everyone is just pretending to like you."
And when I realize that I'm actually listening to the stupid monster, I feel so defeated. I thought I had dealt with this. I thought this wasn't an issue anymore.
Then I realized that this is the same monster but not the same problem. But that's something for another time.
Well, at the same church service I mentioned earlier, we were reading from Matthew 9. Just one page over in my Bible I had two "Let's Be Brave" sticky notes. I turned the page and saw that "do not be afraid," is in both Matthew 10:28 and Matthew 10:31.
God is so good and His timing is perfect.
(Just for the sake of not taking anything out of context, I am going to include several verses from chapter 10. I have bolded the verses that we will focus on.)
"Be on guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you...All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved...So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of these who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Matthew 10:17-20, 22, 26-31 (NIV)
Worth more than many sparrows. It makes me weep just thinking about it.
Here's the deal, y'all. We love Jesus. We serve Jesus. We have said, "Here I am, Lord, send me," and meant it with every fiber of our being. We hunger and thirst for His presence in our everyday lives.
We may be on our mountain top but there is always someone, a group of someones, or an icky circumstance trying to pull us down. They/it may not be trying deliberately but you can feel the tug. You're suddenly confronted with a choice: stick around and fight or walk away. And either choice you make will hurt.
My monster recognized that this is where I'm at and is taking advantage of the situation. I realized I am more afraid of those that can only kill my body. I find myself doing almost everything I can to avoid being questioned (in a negative way) about my association with Jesus. I start trying to justify the work that I do for Jesus because some people may view it as a negative thing. I end up keeping to myself what He has whispered in my ear.
Instant conviction + simultaneously beating myself up = pity party. Yuck.
Yes, I have messed up. I lost sight of what's really important and didn't do what was best for me. And as a result, I have ended up here fighting my monster with every fiber of my being every second of every moment.
Despite all that, I am worth more than many sparrows. There is nothing that I could do or could not do that can change that. I am a messed up sinner in desperate need of a Savior and I am still worth more than many sparrows.
You are too.
I don't know what you're going through, what circumstances seem to be consuming your days, or what your struggles are. But I do know that you are so loved, so strong, and worth more than many, many sparrows.
Close your eyes and hear Jesus whispering those sweet words to you. He knows your circumstances and your struggles and He still thinks you are priceless. There's no way to measure your worth.
You are worth more than many sparrows even when you feel worthless.
You are worth more than many sparrows even when you can't seem to get over whatever struggle you're facing right now.
You are worth more than many sparrows even when you are depressed, angry, upset, or any other emotion that could course through your precious veins.
You are worth more than many sparrows even when you mess up big time.
You are worth more than many sparrows when things are good. You are still worth more than many sparrows when things are not so great.
There's nothing you could do to change that fact or change the way Jesus feels about you.
I'm sure you're probably facing some monsters right now and I am praying for strength, wisdom, and courage for you. Together, we can overcome our monsters and together we can yell from the rooftops the truths that Christ has given us.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.